Making an international move takes time, patience and research. In fact, it is suggested that you hire a migration agent for help when moving into another nation. If you hired a moving company with overseas experience for their assistance, you may want to ask them if they offer professional migration advice and help. Some movers will offer this assistance to those purchasing overseas moving services. It’s important to know and understand all the legalities involved with importation and immigration before you move to Germany.
The most difficult part of moving to Germany from the United States is the process of applying for the right visas and permits. In this article, you’ll find information regarding all your options to hopefully help you to have a clearer understanding. You must apply for the proper visas and permits upon entering the country or you will not be permitted to stay. You’ll need to meet the criteria stated in the German Nationality Law to obtain any of these permissions.
German Visa and Permit Types and Requirements for Non-EU Nationals
Initially, you’ll need to enter the country with at least a German entry visa. However, if you plan to stay longer than 90 days in the country, you’ll need a German residence permit. Below, you’ll find all the visas available to non-EU nationals and what they pertain after you view the list of general requirements for all permits and visas.
- Your application form must be correctly completed with detailed, honest answers that comply with the information in all other required documents. The German Application Visa can be downloaded online.
- You must have a passport as according to the passport requirements of the German embassy, among which a validity of three months beyond you planned stay in the Schengen.
- You’ll need a photo ID which must be taken within the past 3 months, and according to the photo standards set by the German embassy.
- A certified document or form of proof that confirms you have obtained travel health insurance that covers illnesses and accidents, and even repatriation in case of death, as well as the whole Schengen Area with a minimum coverage of € 30.000.
- Have a travel itinerary that includes proof of your round trip flight/travel reservations or other documents that show your intent to transport, as well as proof of what you are planning to do in Germany within the time period that you wish to reside in the nation
- Show proof of financial means through a verified document. This proves you have the amount of money to finance yourself during your planned stay in Germany. This can be a recent bank statement that shows you have enough funds to spend at least 45€ per each day spent in Germany. If proof of own financing is not possible, the applicant can submit a formal declaration of a third person who is willing to finance their travel and stay in Germany alongside with proof of their own financial means.
German Short Term Visa
If you only plan to stay in Germany for less than 90 days, you’ll need to apply for a short-term visa also referred to as a Schengen visa. This visa is perhaps the easiest to obtain but you must meet the requirements.
Long Term German Visa
It can take several months to apply for a long term permit as a non-EU national so start the application process months in advance. This permit or “title” will allow you to stay in the nation for whatever reason, longer than 3 months.
Types of Residence Permits
- The temporary residence permit is the most common. It is needed for general employment, which is usually valid for one year, except in certain cases, such as an unlimited employment contract, in which case it can be up to three years. It can be renewed so long as your situation is the same as it was when you obtained the permit originally.
- The EU Blue Card in Germany is a residence permit with enhanced conditions for highly qualified expats and their spouses. This application is easier to obtain than for regular employment, as it is often expedited by the employer, but it includes a minimum salary requirement of € 50,800 per year. This visa is valid for 4 years and allows the spouse to live and work freely in Germany.
- The German permanent residence permit is only granted to those after five years of residence (and the fulfillment of other conditions) but it can be issued to highly skilled workers immediately and to other groups after 2 or 3 years of residence.
Other Types of Common German Visas
- Tourist & Visitor Visa: for people who wish to enter Germany with the purpose of visiting friends or relatives, or to simply experience the country and its culture.
- Family Reunion Visa to Join a Relative or a Partner: is a visa for family members of German residents who wish to join them in Germany.
- Job Seeker Visa: gives its holders the opportunity to come to Germany and seek a job.
- Studying & Language Learning Visa: for migrants who wish to enter the country with the sole purpose of attending a language course or to continue their studies at an educational institution in Germany.
- Working Visa: for people who already have employment set up in Germany.
- Business Visa: for those that must tend to business and need to remain in Germany for a period longer than 90 days yet no longer than 6 months.
- Airport Transit Visa: is a requirement for a very limited number of 3rd world nationals, that need to pass through one of the German airports in their way to their final destination.
- Guest Scientist Visa: for scientists or researchers who have been invited by an institution to oversee specific study or research.
- Training/Internship Visa: this gives migrants the opportunity to attend a training or internship to nationals of 3rd world countries.
- Medical Treatment Visa: established in order to permit foreigners with different illnesses and medical conditions to enter Germany for the purpose of seeking the proper medical treatment
- Trade Fair & Exhibitions Visa: for people who are planning to participate at a trade fair or exhibition.
When you’re ready to begin applying for the proper visas and permits, contact the German Embassy for further information. As stated above, it is extremely helpful to have a migration agent’s guidance as well. With research and professional guidance, you will find that you can obtain the proper permissions in no time.